The third day in Bali was our happiest and the most exhausting day at the same time. We rent a car plus the driver for 12 hours. So we can visit some beautiful places in that Goddess Island.
We arrived at the hotel at 8pm. Opening the room’s door and felt the cool air breeze from the room’s air-conditioning relieved us. As we felt the (very) hot Bali weather all day long except the in Kintamani and Besakih since they’re on 1000 meters above sea level. Well, I’ll write our trip stories on the next posting. Now I’ll write down the third story page I’ve got.
Many, many years ago when the islands of Bali and Java were still one mass of land, there was a special religious retreat. Here lived a high caste priest named Sidhimantra, along with his wife and only son Manik Angkeran. The priest and his wife were well respected by the local villagers and known for their wisdom and generosity. Unfortunately their son did not have such a good character and everyday he spent his time cockfighting in the company of petty criminals.
Manik seemed to be lucky and always came home with his pocket full of money.
“Come on black, jump again. Great, you really are a champion.” he shouted in a loud voice when his black fighting cock won again.
“It’s always easy to make money,” he boasted whenever his pockets were empty. One day Manik’s luck ran out and he began to lose more and more money each day gambling. It wasn’t long before he was in debt.
The other gamblers grew impatient waiting for their money to be returned and decided to go and see Manik Angkeran’s parents to ask them to repay the debts. Priest Sidhimantra was shocked to hear this disturbing news about his son, but he promised to repay all of the outstanding money. When the group of gamblers left, Priest Sidhimantra called his son over.
“Are you pleased with your behavior? You just seem to do whatever you want and are not prepared to take responsibility for the consequences. In this way that I have thought you to lead your life,” he questioned sadly.
“Listen carefully Manik, this is the last time that I will help you with your debts,” said the priest.
Early the next morning Priest Sidhimantra left on a long journey until he came to a big cave on the side of Mount Agung. Sitting in front of the cave entrance the priest began to ring his golden bell that he used for prayer.
“Ting.. ting .. ting”. A giant dragon roared and emerged from the cave.
“Ahhh! My good friend Priest Sidhimantra, it has been a long time. It seems you have a problem, so what can i do for you sir,” questioned the dragon. After Priest Sidhimantra told the full story of his sons gambling debts.
The dragon replied, “Don’t worry my friend,” he shocked his scaled bosy and a pile of gold coins fell to the ground.
Unbeknown to his father, Manik had followed and was hidden behind a large rock.
“That’s incredible, just look at all those gold coins,” he whispered to himself.
Afraid that his father might catch him, Manik left quietly and returned home.
Later that day Priest Sidhimantra arrived with a big sack of gold coins which he handed to his son to repay the gambling debts. With everything paid off there were still plenty of coins left over for Manik to gamble away and have fun with his rowdy group of friends. It was only a matter of days before he was in debt again, but this did not seem to concern him.
Early the next morning Manik ventured out alone deep into the forest until he reached the dragon’s cave. Taking out the prayer bell that he had stolen from his father, he rang it to call the dragon.
“Who are you and and where did you get that bell? roared the dragon.
“I am the son of Priest Sidhimantra and I have come because my father is sick,” Manik lied.
“Wait, I will get something to help your father,” and the dragon returned to the cave. As the dragon turned around, Manik saw a large white diamond at the end of the beast’s tail.
Not wanting to lose the chance, Manik sprung up in an attempt to grab the diamond. The dragon was engaged with anger at the boy’s greed and blew flames of fire from his nostrils that burnt Manik’s body.
“Please stop, my friend. No matter how bad Manik is, he is still my son. Please forgive him,” cried Priest Sidhimantra appearing at the cave.
“I will spare the boy with one condition. He has to remain here and become my student,” replied the dragon.
Priest Sidhimantra began the long trip back to his religious retreat burdened with great sadness as he had failed to educate his son correctly. Half way home the priest stabbed his walking stick into the ground. This split lands of Bali and Java, creating a boarder which would make it impossible for Manik to return home. After many years of isolated study, Manik Angkeran became a successful priest who was known for his wisdom and knowledge.
The moral story is that sometimes a person’s character is influenced by a negative environment. A sacrifice has to be made so that good can come of the situation.